CRLA now accepting application for 2016/2017 Fellowships

Fellowships with CRLA provide law students and recent law graduates an invaluable and rewarding opportunity to develop legal expertise and professional networks in the areas of housing, employment, environmental justice, education, health, or civil rights.

CRLA is proud to have offered fellowship positions to law students and recent law graduates for many years. We have hosted Skadden, Equal Justice Works, Berkeley Law Foundation, and Dan Bradley fellows, among others. Past fellows have impacted CRLA's development as a legal services organization and provided crucial assistance to our clients.

To begin the process of becoming a fellow with CRLA, you should start to identify fellowships available to you, projects that you are interested in, and the CRLA office where you wish to work. Then you should contact CRLA, as mentioned below. Fellows may apply to work at any of CRLA's offices, and CRLA will work with fellow applicants to match your interests with our local needs. If chosen, CRLA will work closely with you during your application process to match your interests with the needs of our offices and with the requirements of the funder. CRLA does not provide fellowship funding. We work with you to win funding from another source, such as a foundation or your law school's own programs.

Your fellowship experience will depend on your professional background and the project with which you are matched. Fellows work closely with the Directing Attorney of a local office, receiving training and mentoring from an experienced and dedicated legal services attorney. Fellows undertake substantial legal work on CRLA cases, and may participate in community outreach, community education, and other related activities. Post graduate fellows frequently manage their own legal projects, together with CRLA advocates and staff.

For more information on how you become a CRLA legal fellow, download our current prospectus. If you have further questions contact Michael Meuter, Director of Litigation, Advocacy & Training at mmeuter@crla.org or 831-757-5221


Michael Marsh, Crla Salinas Migrant Directing Attorney past fellowship program participant:

I went to law school, already in my 40’s, to help low wage immigrant workers who harvested the food I ate, cleaned the hotels I stayed in, and bused the dishes in my favorite restaurants. Our economy, no, our lives would not the same without these crucial workers. And yet, many of these immigrant workers exist on the lowest rungs of our society, ignored, neglected and, at times, abused. Pillsbury Winthrop launched my legal career when it funded my fellowship to establish a nursery workers project with California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA). It was 2004 and the economy was booming. Homes were being built throughout the U.S. and each home needed landscaping. Nursery workers grow the plants for this industry, along with the tomato plants we buy each Spring at stores like Home Depot. Yet, with resources spread thin, organizations like CRLA had their hands full assisting more traditional farmworkers, those who cut lettuce, pick oranges and harvest broccoli. My project developed resources to reach out to the nursery workers. I spent two years directing the project from CRLA’s office in Oxnard, and during that time we integrated the resources I developed into the CRLA offices located near where nursery crops are grown. Then CRLA hired me to direct the Agricultural Workers Health Program, a statewide effort to focus on improving the health and safety of agricultural workers. After three years in that position, CRLA hired me to be Directing Attorney of the Salinas office. That’s where I currently work, with no plans for any change. Pillsbury Winthrop launched my legal career with CRLA, and today, over eight years later, I’m still with CRLA, working to improve the lives of farmworkers. Thanks, Pillsbury Winthrop, for putting your trust in me!


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